Daily News

Forward prices at the Dutch TTF gas trading hub could fall further over the summer as Europe runs out of storage capacity. Through most EU countries lifted coronavirus lockdowns, demand stays weak and Energy Aspects sees TTF prices remain too low to attract US LNG cargoes until April 2021.

U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects a rebound in Henry Hub spot gas prices due to falling production in the Appalachian and Permian Shale, where low oil prices led to shut-ins of wells. Dry gas production is seen average 84.9 Bcf/d in 2021, pushing up Henry Hub prices to $2.89/MMbtu.

Electricity demand across major European markets will fall nearly 8.1% this year as lockdown easing have no great impact yet, so Wood Mackenzie sees full recovery taking several years. Growth in renewables and a bearish outlook for fuel prices will keep a power prices low well beyond 2020.

Zhonghua Gas’ first quarter results have been “seriously impacted” by the Covid-19 outbreak. Total revenue for the three month ending March plunged 29.5% to HK$75.10 million, while net profit after tax fell 72.5%. Going forward, the Hong Kong-listed group strives to expand LNG sales in greater Shanghai.

Russia’s state gas company Gazprom seeks to boost gas production in Yakutia and enhance pressure as well as throughput at the ‘Power of Siberia’ pipeline. There is “plenty of supply,” Gazprom noted, to ramp up exports to China gradually to 38 Bcm/y, as planned, by 2025.

Stadtwerke Leipzig has contracted MAN Energy Solutions to deliver and install two steam turbines and a generator at the local combined heat and power plant (CHP) in the first quarter of 2021. The upgraded CHP will partially replace the supply of district heating from an ageing coal-fired plant by the end of 2022.

Construction companies in the Middle East are withstanding the negative economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with ACWA Power as well as Saudi’s Advanced Petrochemical and SK Gas winning multi-billion EPC contracts. Oman National Engineering and Investment Company (ONEIC), meanwhile, was contracted to build substations.

Low U.S. gas demand due to the pandemic and unseasonably mild weather has prompted a sharp rise in storage injection, in particular in the South Central region. EIA figures show net injection into storage increased 109 Bcf last week, some 35 Bcm more than typical levels.

Lower first quarter revenues have not hindered Entergy Corp. to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to build a 1,200 MW combined-cycle gas power plant in Texas, with proposals due in early August. The New Orleans-based utility posted earnings of $119 million in Q1-2020, down from $255m.

Energy demand patterns and grid dynamics have shifted dramatically since mid-March. In the absence of sufficient energy storage, Germany at times had to export 14 MW of excess renewable power at a loss of €80 MWh to countries like Norway and Austria, Wärtsilä’s energy tracking shows.

Business shutdowns in New York State to contain the coronavirus have slashed daily electricity demand on weekdays between 11% and 14% in March and April, according to government figures. Downtown New York, the NYISO Zone J, was hardest hit with demand up to 16% lower than temperature-comparable historical demand.

GE’s Grid Solution business has energized a dynamic reactive compensator, installed for UK’s National. The static synchronous compensator (STATCOM) delivers up to 975 Mvar, adding inertia to stabilize the grid to support operations of the 1 GW Nemo Link interconnector to Belgium.

News in Brief

New York body rejects William’s plans for gas pipeline expansion

May 21 – New York’s and New Jersey’s state bodies for environmental conservation have rejected Williams’ plans for the Northeast Supply Enhancement project, designed to transport 400 million cubic feet per day of gas from Pennsylvania to New York. The state bodies had already denied wetland permits in 2019, but Williams pipeline subsidiary Transco filed another application with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), arguing firm services under the project were agreed with UK’s National Grid for customers in New York City districts of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island.

UK inflation at 4-year low amid falling energy costs

May 20 – The rate of inflation in the UK has fallen to a four-year low as the pandemic pushed down global oil and fuel prices which translate into lower wholesale power prices. The consumer price index fell to an annual rate of 0.8% in April, down from 1.5% in March, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Deficit grows in German green energy fund

May 19 – German regional grid operator TransnetBW has warned of a growing shortfall in the country’s fund for green energy sources, financed under the so-called renewable energy (EEG) levy. TransnetBW, the TSO in southwest Germany, said “due to the EEG cost allocations defined for 2020, we anticipate there will be a negative year end bank account balance in the high three-digit million euro range for 2020.”

Spanish gas companies ‘resilient’

May 18 – Spain’s regulated gas companies “should prove to be resilient” to external shocks arising from coronavirus containment measures, Standard & Poor’s analysis finds, calculating with an average drop in EBITBA at less than 3% in 2020. A new remuneration framework for 2021-2026, recently enacted by the Spanish government, provides enhanced visibility rated grid operators amid the pandemic.

German electricity prices second highest in EU

May 15 – Taxes and the renewable energy surcharge have pushed up Germany’s household electricity prices to the second highest level in Europe, topped only by prices in Denmark. While Danish households paid 29.2 Euros per 100 kWh on average in the second half of 2019, prices in Germany averaged 28.7 Euros, according to the EU statistics office Eurostat.

Calpine’s Q1 earnings fall

May 14 – Calpine, America’s largest generator of electricity from gas and geothermal, has reported a net income of $128 million for the first quarter of 2020, down from $175 million in the prior year period. Lower commodity margins and unfavourable change in income taxes were partially offset by earnings from hedge positions for the three month ending March 31.

Siemens to supply hybrid plant in the Philippines

May 13 – Berkley Energy has contracted Siemens Energy to build a hybrid power project on the island of Mindoro in the Philippines. The project links 16 MW wind power with battery storage, stabilizing energy supply in a remote location with a weak link to the grid and reducing its dependence on diesel.

U.S. energy emissions fall

May 12 – Energy-related carbon emissions in the United States have fallen more than energy consumption, down 2.8% over the course of last year to 5,130 million metric tons (MMmt). Power sector emissions were down 145 MMmt, due to a switch from coal to gas and renewables. In April 2020, emissions experienced another unprecedented fall in due to Covid-19 lockdowns.

MAN expands Omincare concept

March 11 – MAN Energy Solutions’ service brand has extended its ‘PrimeServ Omnicare’ concept from turbomachinery to the marine and power segments. The one-stop service solution is now also applicable for maintenance of third-party machinery, including engines, turbochargers and related auxiliaries.

MIVOLT launches cooling fluid

May 7 – MIVOLT, part of the British company M&I Materials, has launched two specialist fluids to improve cooling efficiency at data centres. The electricity demand of data centres is forecast to rise to 20% of global supply to accommodate lifestyle changes like 5G internet network, autonomous vehicles and bitcoin mining.

Germany adds 1,300 km to power grid

May 6 – Germany has made progress in expanding its strained power grid. According to the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), over 1,300 kilometres of new power transmission lines have been built and another 830km approved. A further 3,600km are planned to be built by 2030 to alleviate grid bottlenecks and allow transporting rising volumes of offshore wind southbound.

 

 

 

Oman nationalizes first IPP

May 5 – Manah Power, the first privately-run Independent Power Project (IPP) in Oman, has been transferred to state ownership, following the expiry of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between United Power Company and state-owned OPWP. Manah IPP was developed under Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) model, which stipulates an eventual nationalization of the assets – a feature absent in subsequent IPPs.

U.S inventories at record highs

May 4 – Inventories for crude oil and natural gas have reached a new record high in the United States, as fuel demand declines both for transport and the electric power sector. From March 13 – when a national emergency was declared due to the Covid-19 pandemic – to April 24, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased by 74 million barrels, or 16%, according to government figures. The acute scarcity of crude storage on April 20 led to a sell-off of future contracts at negative prices.

Wärtsilä to service Argentinean power plant

May 1 – Wärtsilä has signed a 10-year maintenance and service agreement with one of Argentina’s upstream companies. Under the deal, Wärtsilä provides a guaranteed performance for a 57.6 MW onsite power plant in the southern part of Argentina, with excess power sold to the national grid.

Zink-Air batteries for NY

April 30 – Zinc8 Energy Solutions has entered a cooperation with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to install a zinc-air battery energy storage, backed by $2.55 million in state funding over a three year period. The Zinc8 ESS units can deliver power in the range 20-50 MW, with capacity of 8 hours of storage duration. The project will help New York State achieve its goal of installing 3 GW of energy storage by 2030.

UK again ‘coal-free’

April 29 – The UK continues to break its coal-free record as thermal coal-fired power plants currently remain off the system, according to National Grid data. Faltering demand due to the pandemic and high renewable energy supply radically altered the energy mix in many developed countries, with power in-feed from solar PV reaching 10 GW in Britain at the start of this week. “Coal is due off the system by 2025 and renewables have shown they are cost competitive with a viable route to market,” Delta-EE director Andy Bradley commented.

China’s fuel demand to rebound in Q2

April 28 – China’s demand for refined fuel is forecast to rebound in the second quarter, nearly reaching year-ago levels, as lockdowns to contain the coronavirus get lifted. Analysts at SIA Energy in Beijing expect second quarter demand for the three main transportation fuels to increase by 1.1 million barrels per day compared with the first quarter of 2020.